In a recent Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum survey sponsored by network storage provider BlueArc and titled "Uptime @ Crunch Time—Valuing the Need for Data Speed at Critical Business Inflections," more than 80 percent of respondents said that storage performance and data access are important to their business. However, 78 percent of respondents were concerned that they weren't prepared to address significant spikes in demand for data.

I spoke with Jon Affeld, BlueArc's senior director of product marketing, about the study. Affeld said that the BPM Forum surveyed more than 125 IT professionals earlier this year to get their views on storage networking. According to the BPM Forum, the purpose of the study was to assess "the importance of data performance to business success and the impact of downtime during peak periods of massive information processing."

The study showed that many businesses aren't prepared to handle the increasing data volumes and user demand over the next year. Key survey findings include

• More than a third of respondents anticipated that their storage needs will grow by at least 50 percent in the next two years.
• More than 25 percent of respondents said that poor data performance has negatively affected their organizations.
• Fifty-five percent of respondents said that short-term glitches of even one day could be catastrophic to their business.

 According to Affeld, implementing the right storage infrastructure allows companies to reduce application wait times, handle more concurrent users, and provide those users with faster access to rich media. To learn more about the "Uptime @ Crunch Time" study, go to www.uptimeatcrunchtime.com. To find out more about the BPM Forum, visit www.bpmforum.org.